This Thursday, as part of the CF Rideau Centre’s redesign, Quebec department store, Simons, will open its doors in Ottawa for the first time. Not only will this bring exclusive brands and fashion to Ottawa, but it will also bring local and Canadian artists.
The 176-year-old family-owned fashion retailer will have many unique features at its Rideau Center location, with the most notable being an impressive art piece titled Torrential Red. The striking installation is done by Canadian artist, Shayne Dark, and is suspended in the centre of the store. Dark used ironwood saplings that he gathered from the forest near his home in Kingston to create the piece. He then saturated the trees in a red pigment and intertwined them to create a 22-foot tall, 8-foot wide suspended sculpture. The piece represents the contrast between urban and natural environments.
In addition to the installation, Simons has collaborated with the Ottawa Art Gallery to exhibit the works of several artists from Ottawa and the surrounding region. The partnership gives the artists exposure to store traffic and is aligned with Simons’ commitment to supporting local creativity.
“We strive to create beautiful stores which include world class art for everyone to enjoy,” said CEO Peter Simons. “We hope our focus on art and architecture in the store paired with our distinctive fashion offering will inspire and engage shoppers.”
The building itself will also have exciting design elements while preserving Canadian heritage. The top floor exterior is encased in glass, which gives the effect of a glass box on top of the existing heritage façade. Simons’ bottom floor resides in the reconstructed original Ogilvy Department Store. Cadillac Fairview removed, cleaned and catalogued each brick and reinstated the exterior to preserve the building’s architectural significance.
Ottawa shoppers are in for a treat with the addition of a shopping experience that embraces the artsy vibe located steps away from the ByWard market in the capital's downtown core.